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Full text of "My Country And My People"

EPILOGUE

333

to pay taxes above their means and then taken to prison for
failure to turn in the money and flogged so that you could hear
their cries and moans all night, as you can hear the farmers of
Shensi being flogged and crying and moaning in jail at night
now.1 The poor people of China, the most misruled nation on
earth, who are caught in a whirl of forces they cannot under-
stand, but who abide it all with an indomitable industry and
patience and real goodness which must eventually triumph.
Let them turn bandits, when their last cow is sold. Let them
turn beggars, when their last chattel has been taken away
from them. The urge to work and to live rises indomitable,
and they still keep their good humour, and for their goodness
and their good humour, God will still love them.

Surely there has  been a dislodgement,  a  dislocation of
national life and thought somewhere in a country which has
known national greatness, but which is to-day ashamed of itself.
Some maladjustment, or maladjustments, of a profound order,
which disturb the mental balance and produce a temporary
delirium, as if the spirit had left the body and the body made
only futile, meaningless gestures.   A madness and a loss of
restraint and all decency, produced by a loss of national self-
confidence, as if there were a common foreboding of evil, and
man's follies and evil passions are let loose in an each-man-for-
himself and scramble-as-one-scramble-can fight, the goal of
which is the buying of a house and a car to live in security
in the foreign settlements, and the holding of a large account in
the Hongkong   and   Shanghai   Banking   Corporation.    For
surely a country is mad when some high officials and guardians
of the Peiping National Museum cannot take their eyes off
those national treasures until they have sold them to the
highest bidders and converted them into cash in their private
pockets, and when these officials can safely reside somewhere
and defy the law court when they are publicly prosecuted.
Surely a country is mad when a general, who lost the whole
Jehol territory without putting up the pretence of a fight, but
used two hundred military trucks to cart off his concubines aad
his treasures, is pardoned by the National Government; when

* According to a report by Professor Hsft PingcVaBg, pabfisWi
number of the Independent Revism, edited by Dr, Ha